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This one cooking tip can save money on your utility bill

You may not be using your stovetop as efficiently as you could be.

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The right pan choice will cook your food more quickly.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Using your stovetop seems pretty foolproof, but you may be missing one simple thing that can save you money on your electricity bill. You've probably noticed that there are different sized burners on your range. Matching your pot size to the burner size is more important than you probably realized.

In fact, making a good match can cook your food much more efficiently. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, putting a 6-inch (15.24-centimeter) pan on an 8-inch (20.32-centimeter) burner, for example, wastes over 40 percent of the heat created by the burner. Simply using the right size pot or pan can save you around $36 each year if you use an electric range and $18 a year for a gas range.

The next time you go shopping for pots and pans, be sure to buy sizes that correspond with your burner sizes and, until then, try to match your pot size to burner size as closely as possible.

Bonus tip: Cover your pots and pans while you cook. Adding a lid traps heat, making the food cook more quickly.